The Greatest Documentaries on Netflix You Completely Have to Watch



No matter Netflix‘s present woes, its documentary slate simply retains on being unbelievable. It is virtually overwhelming! That is why we have made this record: Our picks for the very best documentaries on Netflix.

Here is how we’re breaking issues down. We’re beginning with the newest and greatest up prime, then the remainder listed by style. 

Good luck and pleased watching!

The Greatest Documentaries on Netflix

Netflix

The Woman within the Image is the newest true crime documentary from Netflix. It is up there with its very best work.

It seems like, after a interval of needlessly bloated multi-episode documentaries, Netflix has began trimming the fats, releasing lean, extremely compelling documentaries once more. First Hold Candy: Pray and Obey and Our Father, now this.

The Woman within the Image tells the story of a younger lady, murdered aged 20. To say an excessive amount of would spoil the impression, however it is a layered, brutal documentary with infinite twists. It must be seen to be believed.

Netflix

Hold Candy: Pray and Obey

There are quite a lot of Netflix documentaries about cults gone mad, however Hold Candy: Pray and Obey is likely to be essentially the most disturbing of the lot. In contrast to Homicide Among the many Mormons, which nearly handled its matter like a screwball comedy, Hold Candy is a really grim story a few grim human being in Warren Jeffs. It is a unbelievable documentary, and among the many greatest Netflix has produced, but it surely comes with a really hefty content material warning.

Netflix

Nearly as good as Netflix documentaries are, there’s been an inclination to pull true crime out into these bloated multi episode sequence. Fortunately Our Father is the other of that. It is a lean, completely executed documentary targeted on Donald Cline, an Indiana fertility Physician who used his personal sperm to inseminate a ridiculous quantity of girls in opposition to their will.

That is an unbelievable piece. A kind of tales that simply escalates and escalates to the purpose the place you are jaw is dropping in disbelief. 

Netflix

The true crime documentary style is completely saturated at this level, however The Staircase stands out. 

Specializing in Michael Peterson and the demise of his spouse Kathleen, The Staircase is greater than only a homicide thriller. It is a drawn-out epic that takes place over literal many years, a documentary that follows Peterson and examines his each transfer, however someway nonetheless stays goal. 

It is a good time to observe or revisit this one, since HBO Max have simply launched a drama mini sequence primarily based on it.

Netflix

Barack Obama’s is making a beeline for David Attenborough’s job. And we do not hate the concept!

Our Nice Nationwide Parks is a world class nature documentary within the model of nice BBC reveals like Planet Earth. They’ve nailed it right here. For those who’re a fan of that kind of present that is utterly unmissable.

Netflix

System 1: Drive to Survive

Absolutely the gold normal for lengthy operating sports activities documentaries. Drive to Survive is so good, and so standard, that it is impressed an entire new stage of curiosity in System 1, particularly within the US. This present is nice at elevating the characters that occupy the game. Extra reveals like this please.

Netflix

This Oscar-winning documentary is an absolute belter. 

Icarus begins out as an expose on the impression performance-enhancing medicine have on sports activities efficiency, however a sequence of occasions drags director Bryan Fogel into an online of geopolitics and conspiracies. To say extra would spoil it, however Fogel in the end has created a documentary that had a really actual impression on our notion of sports activities as an entire. In that respect, Icarus is a literal sport changer.

Netflix

I’ve watched loads of true crime documentaries on Netflix, however nothing has come near The Keepers. A staggering story, advised throughout generations, that is respectful of the victims, but compelling all through.

It is a story concerning the unsolved homicide of Catherine Cesnik, a nun who taught at a Catholic college in Baltimore, however The Keepers goes additional than you may count on and exposes a possible cowl up of intercourse abuse allegations.

Netflix

Who Killed Little Gregory (2019)

Who Killed Little Gregory is a documentary targeted on the horrific homicide of Grégory Villemin. It is arguably the very best true crime documentary on Netflix. It is a few homicide, and makes an attempt to resolve that homicide, but it surely’s additionally a lesson in media illustration and the horrific sexism Grégory’s mom needed to face within the wake her personal son’s homicide. 

Netflix

In 2020, within the midst of a pandemic, Netflix dropped this piece of sports activities doc perfection. 

The Final Dance focuses on the Chicago Bulls throughout their 97-98 NBA title successful season, however actually it is a leaping off level for a documentary that tells the life story of its central star, Michael Jordan. 

Because of this, many criticized it for being just a little too Jordan-focused, however The Final Dance was an occasion documentary that lived as much as the hype. 

Netflix

thirteenth by Ava Duvernay is a staggering documentary that tells the story of American slavery and its long-lasting impacts, a lot of which nonetheless resonate at the moment. 

Within the wake of the Black Lives Matter motion, this ought to be obligatory viewing.

True crime

Michael Putland/Getty Photographs

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story

It is virtually unimaginable to overstate how well-known Jimmy Savile was within the UK — significantly within the Eighties. He was past a family title, in some ways he felt like an eccentric Uncle to the nation.

Which made revelations he had sexually assaulted actually a whole lot of underage women and boys all of the extra horrific. This was an individual the entire of Britain had invited into their houses. 

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story does an incredible job of going by the archives, combining footage that’s completely weird in hindsight, and including unbelievable interviews with a few of the main gamers in British TV throughout Savile’s heyday. A captivating, albeit disturbing documentary. Be warned: This can be a troublesome watch, 

Netflix

The Tinder Swindler (2022)

A documentary targeted on Shimon Hayut, AKA «Tinder Swindler», a conman who used courting apps to defraud a number of ladies throughout Europe to fund a lavish life-style.

A barely totally different matter in comparison with most true crime documentaries on Netflix. Positively price a gander.

Netflix

The Raincoat Killer (2021)

These days its uncommon to observe a lean, clear direct true to crime present that does not drag issues out, or intentionally obfuscate information for the sake of drama. However that is precisely why The Raincoat Killer is so good, and distinctive.

It is a complete, nice take a look at The Raincoat Killer, a brutal serial killer in South Korea. It is one of many higher true crime documentaries on Netflix.

Netflix

Home of Secrets and techniques: The Burari Deaths (2021)

One of many more moderen true crime documentaries from Netflix, it is a good one.

Specializing in the weird deaths of 11 relations in a single home in Burari, Delhi, India in 2018, Home of Secrets and techniques delves into the theories behind of the strangest suicide/homicide instances in latest reminiscence. Unmissable stuff. 

Netflix

This Is a Theft is about Netflix because it will get. A four-part sequence specializing in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, that is primarily a documentary about an artwork heist. Bear in mind Evil Genius? (Which can also be on this record.) This Is a Theft could be very a lot in that model. The primary episode takes some time to get going, however be affected person — this one has a repay.

Netflix

Homicide Among the many Mormons (2021)

A few of Netflix’s more moderen true crime documentaries have been a bit bloated and… sorta unhealthy?

Fortunately Homicide Among the many Mormons is a return to type. Positively watch this one. 

Netflix

American Homicide: The Household Subsequent Door (2020)

There are quite a lot of true crime documentaries on the market (and on this record) however American Homicide: The Household Subsequent Door stands proud. 

It tells the story of Chris Watts, a seemingly common man who murdered his spouse and youngsters. The entry to footage is staggering and it is edited and produced in a singular approach, utilizing textual content messages and social media posts to inform the story. It is a horrific reminder of the banal, extremely widespread existence of home violence.

Netflix

Making A Assassin (2015-2018)

With the swathe of true crime documentaries and podcasts that got here in its wake, it is simple to neglect that the world as soon as misplaced its collective thoughts over Making A Assassin. In quite a lot of methods it created the template that many Netflix documentaries now comply with. An actual authentic.

Nature/science

Netflix

Seaspiracy follows within the footsteps of a number of documentaries targeted on the impression of meat consuming on the surroundings. This time the worldwide fishing business is within the crosshairs. As anticipated this one has stirred up a little bit of controversy from all stakeholders — PETA, Greenpeace and conservation teams can not seem to agree if Seaspiracy is correct or honest. Watch it and make up your individual thoughts.

Netflix

My Octopus Trainer (2020)

My Octopus Trainer follows Craig Foster, a filmmaker who spent a yr snorkelling and interacting with an octopus off the coast of South Africa. It is a nature movie, certain, but it surely’s concurrently a documentary designed to encourage awe within the viewer. Briefly, octopi are unbelievable. Little aliens on Earth, primarily. That is the story of a relationship between people and nature but it surely’s additionally an inspiring name to motion: Do not ignore the marvel that exists throughout you.

Netflix

David Attenborough nature documentaries are so ubiquitous they’re susceptible to self parody, however Our Planet is — I consider — the excessive watermark. Solely Planet Earth, one other Attenborough docu, comes shut. However I favor this one.

Netflix

Time could boring its impression, however when Tiger King was first launched on Netflix, the whole world could not cease speaking about it. 

Tiger King explores the unusual underbelly of huge cat breeding, specializing in a forged of unforgettable (and in the end harmful) characters. It drags its viewers to bizarre locations. Season 2 is now out there and whereas the present has misplaced quite a lot of its chew, it is intriguing to meet up with this forged of untamed human beings doing wild, utterly outlandish issues. 

Sports activities 

Netflix

14 Peaks tells the story of the Nepalese mountaineer Nimsdai Purja and his aim of climbing all 14 mountains above the peak of 8000 metres in a single yr. It is unbelievable. Should watch stuff.

Netflix

Netflix might need burned the True Crime documentary into the bottom, but it surely’s on fireplace on the subject of sports activities. Unhealthy Sport is the newest entry into this burgeoning sub class, and it is superior. Specializing in unusual controversies in sports activities historical past, Unhealthy Sport is much less about main gamers doing main issues, it is about what occurs when sport goes unhealthy, will get down within the grime. All of those episodes are nice. Hoping for a season 2. 

Netflix

The River Runner is sorta like Free Solo for kayaking. Take into account {that a} praise.

Specializing in Scott Lindgren, a kayaking legend who was an early pioneer of the game, it is a conventional story of an excessive sports activities star overcoming odds, but it surely runs just a little deeper than that. Combating in opposition to a mind tumour and his personal private demons, Lindgren is a compelling case research. Should watch stuff.

Netflix

Untold is the newest from the parents behind Wild Wild Nation.

It is a sports activities documentary sequence, with every episode going in-depth on controversial sports activities matters. The primary episode focuses on Malice on the Palace, the infamous basketball match the place Ron Artest waded into the group and wailed on followers again in 2004.

The second episode focuses on Christie Martin, the feminine boxer from the 80s who grew to become well-known after combating on Mike Tyson’s undercard. 

It is launched weekly and, to date so good. It is very 30 for 30 — which is an effective factor.

Netflix

Naomi Osaka has grow to be one of the vital well-known and talked about athletes on the planet. This fascinating documentary explores totally different phases of her profession and presents unbelievable entry into the lifetime of a younger girl battling the pressures of sport and fame. A should watch.

Netflix

Athlete A is a superb characteristic size expose on Larry Nassar, the group doc of US Gymnastics, who had been sexually abusing feminine athletes for many years.

Be warned: This one is harrowing.

Netflix

For those who’re on the lookout for a barely extra uplifting documentary, you may do far worse than The Velocity Cubers, a take a look at the world of aggressive rubix… cubers? It is quick, however packs an unbelievable emotional punch. Put together your self, this one may break you.

Politics/historical past 

Netflix

Within the wake of the Capitol siege, the Fb/Cambridge Analytica controversy virtually seems like historic historical past, however that does not make this documentary any much less necessary. If you have not seen it, then watch it.

Netflix

Operation Varsity Blues: The Faculty Admissions Scandal (2021)

Lately launched, Operations Varsity Blues: The Faculty Admissions Scandal has a reputation so long as a few of Netflix’s latest documentaries. Fortunately, this is not as bloated as, say, the latest Cecil Resort docu, but it surely might nonetheless use some trimming. 

Operation Varsity Blues targeted on the FBI investigation into school admissions that put actress Felicity Huffman into jail. Its director Chris Smith beforehand labored on the Fyre Pageant documentary. This is not fairly as compelling, however remains to be properly price watching. 

Sundance

Knock Down the Home (2019)

No matter your views on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Knock Down The Home is an unbelievable underdog story that can’t be missed. Specializing in progressive feminine candidates in the course of the 2018 congressional main campaigns, it is an insightful take a look at the democratic course of. It is an inspiring reminder that we have to combat to be able to make the voices of odd individuals rely.

Netflix

What Occurred, Miss Simone? (2015)

Not gonna say a lot right here. Nina Simone is a legend and that is possibly top-of-the-line documentaries I’ve ever seen. 

Netflix

Overlong and bloated, Wild Wild Nation is nonetheless one of the vital fascinating documentaries I’ve ever watched on Netflix. 

It tells the story of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajnees, who tried to construct a huge sprawling commune, for what was primarily a intercourse cult, in america. It is a unusual story that someway turns into stranger with age. Very similar to Tiger King the story plumbs depths you will not consider. At instances it is a slog, however Wild Wild Nation is completely worthwhile.

Netflix

I completely adore this documentary. 5 present acclaimed administrators (together with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola) assist inform the story of 5 well-known film administrators from the ’30s and ’40s who did frontline work in the course of the Second World Warfare. It wraps their legacies alongside the impression of the warfare itself into a really compelling story of Hollywood’s golden age.

Netflix

One other Oscar winner for Netflix, this documentary is the primary produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Larger Floor Productions group. 

American Manufacturing unit tells the story of Fuyao, a Chinese language firm that constructed a manufacturing unit in Ohio that inhabits a now-closed Common Motors plant. It’s important to watch this film.

Netflix

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Wealthy (2020)

By this level all of us have some kind of understanding of Jeffrey Epstein’s story however Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Wealthy does itself an incredible service by specializing in the tales of the survivors of his abuse. 

The Cinemart/Hulu

Fyre: The Biggest Get together That By no means Occurred (2019)

Hulu additionally has an incredible Fyre pageant documentary, however I favor this Netflix one. In contrast to many Netflix documentaries, that are stretched and bloated into multi-part episodes, this documentary is sharp, direct and strong gold the whole approach by.